How Much is that HSBC in the Window?

At an HSBC bank, trapped inside glass cages, performing for strangers, are a beauty queen, an artist, and three guys watching football. Passersby text their thoughts to ticker screens behind the subjects heads. Like most things that make no fucking sense, it’s part of a multi-million-dollar ad campaign.

It’s the latest extension of the strange “What’s Your Point of View?” initiative by the British banking group, nominally seeking to make a global giant more personal by cultivating consumer opinions about a range of topics, from gorillas to vegetarianism to cloning.

Visitors to the website can also add their one-word opinions about the shows. The system however, rejected “retarded” and “ugly.” Opinions are only accepted if they fall within a narrowly prescribed dictionary set– perhaps the most apt metaphor elucidated by the HSBC effort.

The current location is the branch at 39th St. and Fifth Ave. in New York. Next week the stages move to 5 Penn Plaza, Third Ave. and E. 86th St., and Broadway and E. 9th St.

And somewhere, a virgin loses her wings. What’s your point of view? Tell us in the comments.

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  1. ModerateSnark says:

    To get what limited, constricted “fun” there is in finding out what words the system will accept and reject, you have to click the “NY Live” button on the flash version of the site.

    I took a quick look at the rest of the site in both the html and flash versions, and you must choose from a preselected list of 8 words to answer their pointless survey questions. (The NY Live system allows around 100 choices, no more than 5 starting with any one letter.)

    The best accepted word I noticed was “vacuous,” which only works for the Modern Art display.

    Maybe if everyone started sending that…

  2. ModerateSnark says:

    So, I went back to actually submit “vacuous” and it was no longer allowed…

    Then I fiddled around a little and ended up calling Sports Fans vacuous…

    So the choices you are allowed to select from may be slightly randomized. Sometimes you may get “vacuous” as an option, sometimes not.